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Email marketing is a direct form of advertising, where through consent you send a promotional message or communication to a subscriber’s inbox. This should be a key pillar of a publishers and affiliates digital marketing strategy. It is always important to understand the purpose of having an email strategy and the benefits it offers. In this guide, we share how you can make email affiliate marketing work for you. Our first piece of advice would be to practice getting it right until it’s perfected. That way you’ll get better results (you’ll see higher open rates and click rates – which signifies interest). It is also said that 59% of marketers had said email represented their biggest ROI. This is why it is one of the most efficient ways of generating income.
What is affiliate email marketing?
It is simply earning commissions via selling through email, rather than social media content, YouTube videos or even Google ads. Instead, publishers and affiliates focus on using their subscription lists to promote their affiliate products or services to their audiences. It’s important to know (similar to other digital channels) not all commissions are based on actual purchases but sometimes it could be based on number of clicks or joining an email campaign. This depends on the nature of the product or service and the campaign.
It is also important that those who have subscribed to your emails, have consented to receiving promotional emails, where affiliate products are promoted. And they have the option to opt out anytime too. By being explicit about this, you will be seen as a brand that can be trusted.
Why begin affiliate email marketing?
This is best for content creators, publishers, influencers and affiliates who are focused on developing and nurturing high-value personal connections. More digital marketing strategies are geared towards becoming more personalised to serve the needs and wants of their target audience, and therefore, the power is knowing and understanding who your audience are. That way you can tap into their motivations and barriers to purchasing an affiliate product which solves their needs whatever it may be.
For example, a travel blogger may share affiliate promotional email to a range of affiliate ski equipment’s between November and March as he knows that’s when his audience goes skiing and therefore will benefit.
Furthermore, as influential content creators or bloggers, your fans or subscribers are more likely to be persuaded by your recommendations because of the trust that has evolved over time in respecting your opinion.
Personalisation is a key factor in today’s marketing world, and that is one way of gaining the attention of your audience. Personalisation and affiliate marketing go hand in hand, according to campaign monitor, when an email has a personalised subject line, it not is 26% more likely to be opened, but deepens the relationship especially when the personalisation doesn’t stop at the email itself but the landing pages and so forth. The key is to foster the trust and therefore, they are more likely to trust you. You will be seen a helpful friend rather than just a salesperson.
If you’re a brand rather than an influencer, then you can still make extra profits with affiliate marketing. It has to be a brand with personality, and a connection with their audiences, to make it work. And as long as the affiliate productresonates with the audience and the brand then these would be the formulas for making a successful campaign.
So, from discounted offers in affiliate products to finding out more about an affiliate partnership, here is a roundup of three essential objectives an Affiliate Email Marketing fulfils:
1. Driving loyalty
As we mentioned earlier, personalisation deepensa relationship but also drives loyalty. For this, email is great for retention and creating repeat customers. You can produce newsletter content that’s personalised to what they find valuable, perhaps a weekly roundup or Friday treats, something they can look forward to.
2. Increasing conversions
Those that have subscribed to you, have a higher likelihood of buying from you as they enjoy learning from your content and/or may have brought through you from the past. You could send them discounted offers to their favourite products or make it extra personal and special by tailoring it to their birthday, anniversary or so on. This is something that will be very well received. Now, who doesn’t want to get spoilt?
3. Raising awareness
By showing up on email, will help you stay top of mind and when associated with different needs, objects etc then it is likely they will think of you first. For example, if you and your followers are highly passionate about baking, you may be excited by the latest technologies or equipment’s that will help with your baking hobby. Having the context of baking with an affiliate baking class or affiliate baking product for example, will allow your audience or prospects know what to expect from your future emails too.
Where to start?
1. Find a suitable email provider
Your email provider should allow you to include affiliate links in your body of email. Other than that, most common email services we highly recommend are MailChimp.
This is great as templates and images can be dragged and dropped easily, plus you can segment your list (fine tune your targeting), and access to analytics to see how well your email campaign is performing.
Another one which we recommend is Drip.
You can create automated email campaigns, based on specific actions they take, create pre-built playbooks from abandoned carts to post purchase campaigns and access to super powerful, detailed analytics that help you understand your segments well.
2. Ensure you think about the value of the content first
Is the content highly relevant and useful to your audience, think about what value does it provide for them? Does it solve their need? Does it make them aware of an issue or solution? You can use different types of content to serve these needs, and to nurture interest in the process, i.e. introductory videos, unique images, podcasts discussing a topic in depth all to go beyond just the promotion but on building an intimate connection as well as deep value that serves a sense of purpose.
3. Make your email attention grabbing and highly relevant
To get the attention of your audience, you need to make sure that your subject line is not only personalised and addresses the need at this point in time, but it has to be catchy too. It will give you a friendly and helpful tone, and therefore, more likely to be opened by recipients. If you fail to do that, you run the risk of being lost or deleted from their inbox.
Some quick tips we have for a catchy and personal subject line are:
Trigger call to action: Having action-oriented verbs can significantly boost your open and click through rates. For example, “Buy now” and “Open your treat”. Make them feel special and privileged to be a subscriber i.e. “Secret for you only. Special discounts inside”. Use emojis to help lift the context of what you’re saying in the email.
4. Embed affiliate links to your emails
Now it’s time to subtly add your affiliate links in the right places, ensuring that this is not the main centre of attention otherwise your audience may get annoyed. So ensure its mixed with other relevant content, and naturally guides readers to want to find out more about the affiliate product or service you are promoting. You must ensure that the content is valuable, as you have promised in exchange for their sign up or email address, and therefore, all content should be unique, interesting, captivating, informational and entertaining, that way you should see your passive income from emails expand.
5. Add premium content
A list grows fast when you have premium content, it could be an exclusive eBook, access to an exclusive podcast, a free downloadable checklist in exchange for users details. This also helps with retention and therefore, increasing likelihood of conversions.
6. Schedule your emails to go out at the right time
It’s always wise to send out your email when it is likely to be opened and read by your target audience. Do most of them work 9-5 jobs, then perhaps lunch hours or evenings may work better. Are they morning people, then schedule it so it sends out early hours. It is always best, to test and trial to find out the optimum times and days that makes sense for your audience.
7. Last, but not least, track your email campaigns
Data analytics is powerful, it is an opportunity to understand your audience to elevate your campaign. With this you can create something memorable and engaging that drives results. You need to actively monitor, analyse and track the email campaigns, so you can adjust the campaigns, so it is going in the right direction when necessary. To receive commissions, you need to ensure you are active with your campaigns and know the in’s and out’s. Remember to always A/B test your emails to see what works and what doesn’t.
As we say to all publishers, influencer and affiliates, to only promote affiliate products you truly believe in, and that would benefit your audiences. By staying authentic, you should see better connections with your target audience, and creating compelling creative emails you should see the emails convert better too.